The labour inspection blog_#LIB

A laboratory and platform for researching, studying and learning about labour standards, workers’ rights and how these are enforced in the global economy…

Labour standards are industrial human rights and influence all aspects of individuals’ working lives from pay and wages, working time, health and safety to non-discrimination and equal opportunity. Workers’ rights also extend to collective rights such as union representation and collective bargaining. Labour standards protect, empower, and promote those who work in the workplace and beyond, also by placing restrictions on what is tolerable, for example by prohibiting child and forced labour.

Yet, severe labour standard violations occur repeatedly in various industries and sectors within many countries and are part and parcel of numerous cross-border supply chains and production networks. Large parts of today’s supply chains for goods and services collapsed if labour standard violations were sanctioned by effective restrictions. This holds for products and services of mass consumption such as smartphones, fashion items, online book ordering or the purchase of a chocolate bar in your local supermarket.

Despite many national and international initiatives of single legislating bodies, international organizations, trade unions, civil society organizations, corporations and engaged individuals, labour standard violations have proven to be persistent for decades. Indicative of exploitative work and employment conditions, for individual workers this situation brings along tragic injuries and deathly incidences. Labour standard violations also kill slowly by worsening living conditions, shortening life expectancy, and reducing life chances of millions of workers across the globe. Of course, labour standard violations also have wider repercussions for societies such as political conflict, social disintegration, and a weakening of sustainable responses to the climate crisis.

Ongoing labour standard violations result from an organized irresponsibility that tolerates a huge gap between rule making and the enactment, implementation, and enforcement of these rules. That’s why the #LIB_Labour Inspection Blog aims at collecting and spreading the already existing academic knowledge about this social problem, but also wants to support those who identify, create, and realize solutions in practice. For this purpose, the #LIB defines “labour inspection” broadly as those labour politics with the goal to end labour standard violations. If you can subscribe to these goals, you are welcome to contribute your own views, topics, and ideas.

Latest Posts

#16_Union networks in global production: Reclaiming lost territory in supply chains?

The realities of global production are often in conflict with establishing responsibility and accountability of transnational businesses. This holds especially for work and employment, because labour is relatively immobile in comparison with capital, leading to a globalization – driven by large multinational firms, free trade agreements, and national austerity policies – which has put workersContinue reading “#16_Union networks in global production: Reclaiming lost territory in supply chains?”

#15_It’s all too complex – or is it? Global production networks and value chains revisited

In explaining the steep fall in production during the Covid19 pandemic, many observers have emphasized that it may just be too complex for large corporations to handle their global production operations, simply because of the sheer size of their supply chains. Today’s supply chains encompass a diverse set of subsidiaries, business partners, alliances and jointContinue reading “#15_It’s all too complex – or is it? Global production networks and value chains revisited”

#14_Between a rock and a hard place: Labour migration and workers’ rights

While for many people the experience of moving across borders is beneficial for personal development, inter-cultural learning, innovation and similar positive things, not all of these movements happen to be voluntary; and not everybody weighs the social, cultural, and economic opportunities of cross-border movements in the same way against their possible costs and burdens. Especially,Continue reading “#14_Between a rock and a hard place: Labour migration and workers’ rights”

#13_Climate crisis and labour standards: How better work works for survival…

Apart from the Covid19 pandemic, the climate crisis is the single most important issue these days receiving public attention almost anywhere on the planet. Protests against how the climate crisis has been handled so far are many, and obviously, the protesters are not just going away; especially, not in a pandemic sharing so many characteristicsContinue reading “#13_Climate crisis and labour standards: How better work works for survival…”


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